by Nathan Empsall, Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 07:37:10 AM EST
Big process news: White House Communications Director Anita Dunn is resigning. Deputy Dan Pfeiffer will take over. This is not a rebuke for Dunn; she made it clear from the get-go that her job was a temporary one. From Politico:
Anita Dunn is stepping down from her post as White House communications director, and her deputy, Dan Pfeiffer, will be replacing her, a White House official confirmed Tuesday.
Dunn took the job on an interim basis about six months ago after the first person Obama named to the key post, former Emily's List director Ellen Moran, left the post for the Commerce Department, citing family reasons.
Dunn, a longtime Democratic political consultant, made few headlines in the White House until last month when she seemed to kick off a crusade aimed at de-legitimizing Fox News. The anti-Fox campaign generated criticism from other members of the press as well as a lot of second-guessing from other Democratic strategists, some of whom described it as an unnecessary distraction.
I think this is a good thing. I despise Fox News (except for Shepard Smith) and think the White House should more or less ignore it, and it was right to push back a little when the rest of the MSM began following Fox's lead on stories like ACORN and Van Jones, but there came a point when Dunn and her team just went too far. Fox needs to be slapped, but you don't want that fight to overshadow the rest of your message as was always clear would happen. Besides, Saturday Night Live and Jon Stewart can handle much of that battle on their own. No, what the White House communications staff needs to do is focus more on crafting a presidential narrative rather than on one media outlet. As Tom Friedman said earlier this month, Obama's otherwise masterful speeches have "not tied all his programs into a single narrative that shows the links between his health care, banking, economic, climate, energy, education and foreign policies. Such a narrative would enable each issue and each constituency to reinforce the other and evoke the kind of popular excitement that got him elected."
Perhaps a new communications shop will help achieve that goal. Dunn, of course, wouldn't have deserved to be fired, and I wouldn't have called for her ouster over such small things, but this is the perfect time for a planned voluntary shake-up. Best wishes to Dunn in whatever comes next, and high expectations for Pfeiffer.
by Nathan Empsall, Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 12:33:44 PM EST
by Forgiven, Thu Oct 29, 2009 at 09:42:46 PM EDT
The more I am involved in local politics and neighborhood issues the more I am coming to realize that most people tend to seek out those who share their already held beliefs and look for reinforcement versus critical analysis. Have we become a country that is so entrenched in ideology that facts have become nonessential to rational discussion? My fear is that we have become a nation of intellectually lazy people who would rather have their news and facts spoon fed to them by the likes of Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. It appears that the more technology we incorporate into our society the less many of us read, study, and work to understand the nuisances of different issues. Instead of witnessing accurate and factual discussions we have become spectators to a drunken family brawl, where facts are replaced with family indignation.
by RichardFlatts, Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 05:27:19 AM EDT
Where are the letters to the editors (stamped envelopes still get the most attention)? Where are emails flooding in boxes? Where are the callers to the radio talk shows? Where is the support for Obama on the left?
This is reminding me of August and the townhall death panel bullshit, where conservatives, and drunk, lazy, or stupid (or all three) journalists ruled the day on health care and prgressive where on holiday. The White House has again mounted a charge only to find their troops are skulkers.
by Jonathan Singer, Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 09:40:41 AM EDT
Heads of news organizations don't normally float presidential bids:
EXCLUSIVE -- BUZZ: Friends and associates are encouraging Roger Ailes -- Fox News founder, chairman and CEO -- to jump into the political arena for real by running for President in 2012. "Ailes knows how to frame an issue better anybody and that's what we need now," says one Ailes friend who is encouraging him to run. Frank Luntz, for one, tells Playbook that Ailes could be a force if does it. "I have known Roger Ailes for 29 years," says Luntz. "No one knows how to win better than Roger."
This story just about speaks for itself, but it's worth noting briefly that this news couldn't have come at a worse time for Fox News, which is desperately fighting to hold on to the facade that it is a legitimate news organization rather than a partisan arm of the Republican Party. In short, despite the fact that just about everyone in the country realizes that Fox is closely linked with the Republicans, the establishment media in Washington remains in a state of denial -- a state of denial that becomes increasingly difficult to maintain when the network takes steps like helping organize protests against the President and, even more, when the head of the network floats a potential presidential bid of his own.